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Brand Snapchats: Worth It?

Did everyone just think to themselves, “Hell, no?” Let me convince you otherwise. At first glance, Snapchat might seem irrelevant to brands; it has a disappearing content, a reputation for dirty photos, no direct ROI, so many are thinking, why bother? One word: engagement.



If you are a Snapchat user, and I am really hoping you are, you know the excitement that surrounds that small faceless ghost appearing on your phone. How often have we all been unable to wait until the end of a meeting to check out what snap we got? There is so much emotional involvement right off the bat, people will stop whatever they are doing to check it out. Now, pair this with the excitement people feel about their favorite brands, add in the feeling of the personal connection that Snapchat brings to interaction through the photos and you will have one energized brand advocate.

No gimmicks

With no ads, no opportunity for elaborate Photoshop features, Snapchat levels the playing field for all brands from Coca Cola to the deli down the street.  This adds to the personal connection that a Snapchat relationship will bring to its fans. Fans know that they have the same features available to them that their favorites brands too, so they aren’t excepting the world, just a inside view of an employee’s late night food run (don’t worry, we are coming back to Taco Bell). 

But how?

Good question. You are a brand manager and you are thinking, great! Snapchat is totally for my brand, but how do I go about doing this? See what is out there. The big contenders in my opinion are Taco Bell, 16 Handles and Acura. Does your fan do product preivews? Coupons? Silliness? Snapchat could be a big asset to you. 

Taco Bell: Got to love its silly Snapchat drawings and fan engagement. They really amped up the Snapchat brand craze when they made the big announcement about the return of the Beefy Crunch Burrito to their Snapchat community first. By promoting to its Twitter followers beforehand that a big announcement was coming via Snapchat, they quickly built the new platform’s fan base and then rewarded them with the secret announce, making their new Snapchat fans feel like VIPs.

16 Handles challenged their Facebook community to send them a Snapchat photo of their next frozen dessert to receive a coupon that could be worth 15%, 60% or 100% off their next treat. 16 Handles announced afterwards that they received more than 1,400 snaps back.

Acura, like Taco Bell, rewarded the first 100 people to friend them on Snapchat with a 6-second preview of its new NSX supercar prototype. For avid car fans, this was an awesome engagement.

Moral of the story

Snapchat isn’t about building another platform full of well posed photos and videos; it is solely about the engagement and brand advocacy it can create with your fans. Fans aren’t looking for production value or visually stimulating content, they are looking for a personal connection with the brand the love. When I heard that The Today Show was launching a Snapchat channel this morning, my first thought was, “Can’t wait to send my first one to the team!”, and granted I am a Today Show groupie, but I guarantee, your brand’s fans will react the same exact way.  

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